Say you're hanging out in the East Village, or on the Lower East Side, or maybe seeing a movie at Sunshine Cinema on Houston, and a craving for BBQ hits. You know: ribs, chicken, and pulled pork; collards, baked beans, biscuits… the whole thing. For a few years now we've relied on the consistently good Georgia's Eastside BBQ to satisfy our smoky / saucy meat desires in that part of town–and will continue to do so for a few years more–but newcomer The Cardinal offers a solid quick-bite alternative by way of East Village restaurants and is definitely a better place to throw a BBQ party.
Georgia's Eastside BBQ is on Orchard Street just south of Houston, and therefore only a few blocks from the Sunshine, one of our favorite, most frequented movie houses in town. We almost always get the ribs here at Georgia Eastside BBQ, which arrive tender and tasty on a wooden block, slathered in the house sauce that expertly balances the sweet with the spicy. The three-quarter rack "Plate" comes with two sides–all of which, from the beans to the beets to the greens, are first-rate–and gets you a lot of good food for under $20. The Georgia Eastside BBQ Sampler is equally appealing, and equally often on our table, mostly because we really like the fiery Andouille sausage that comes with. Georgia's Eastside BBQ is cozy and warm, the decor ironic Americana, the menu filled with casual-dinner winners. Simple desserts are usually appropriately sweet and gooey, too.
The Cardinal opened late this summer in the East Village, on 4th Street near Avenue B, and we've only swung by once for a pre-movie meal, but still, we can tell, this place is a keeper. The Cardinal menu is simple: choose a meat, choose a couple of sides, done. We went the slightly extravagant route the other night with the $21 Cardinal's BBQ Plate, opting for Ribs, Pulled Pork, and a Hot Link, all of which were fine, especially with the sauces–one's vinegary, one's mustardy, one's tomato-y–that our friendly server brought the table. Our side of Black Eyed Peas was smartly paired with pickle-ish Chow Chow, though the Mac-n-Cheese was a little blah, as were the biscuits. But The Cardinal's upstairs dining area is light and airy, thanks to the open frontage, the downstairs a good place to knock back a few with a crew, and so we'll definitely be back for more.
The Cardinal and Georgia's Eastside BBQ details
The Cardinal is located on 4th Street between Avenues A and B and is open during the week from 12:00 noon to 4:00 p.m. for lunch, from 6:00 p.m. to 12:00 midnight for dinner, on Saturday from 11:00 a.m. straight through to 1:00 a.m., and onSunday until 11:00 p.m. For more information and a look at The Cardinal's menu, please see their website, here.
Georgia's Eastside BBQ is located on Orchard Street between Houston and Stanton Streets, and is open every day from 12:00 noon until 11:00 p.m., and on Sunday and Monday nights until 10:00 p.m. For more information and a peak at the Georgia's Eastside BBQ menu, please see their website, here